Though summer is always a slow time for college athletics, it’s been a busy time for the University of North Dakota as it undergoes numerous transitions. For those who haven’t been paying attention to UND athletics, like me, here’s a handy pocket guide to what’s been happening!
UND joins new D-I all-sports conference — Great West Conference
Scheduling is usually one of the most difficult parts of a transition to D-I, as the in-transition school doesn’t count as a D-I game for opponents. Securing a conference affiliation, before beginning its first day of D-I competition, is a tremendous achievement for UND and will be a boon to scheduling.
The Great West Conference’s core membership includes North Dakota, South Dakota, and four additional institutions that were not part of the Great West Football Conference. The remaining members of the former Great West Football Conference will remain football-only members of the new Great West Conference.
All sports members:
- Houston Baptist
- Texas Pan-American
- Utah Valley University
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Great West Football only members:
- Cal Poly
- Southern Utah University
- UC Davis
However, fans shouldn’t confuse this with being accepted to an established conference. As a new conference, the Great West won’t have autobids to the big tournaments, so stability could be low as its members continue to evaluate and seek options that include autobids.
UND football took a blow when Chappell was declared ineligible (forum discussion) and Stroup was dismissed from the team (forum discussion).
UND had the best hockey attendance in the nation, Chorney signed with the Oilers, and the official 2008-09 schedule was released.
Changes in leadership
- President Kupchella retried on July 1 and President Kelley began (forum discussion)
- Brian Faison began as Athletics Director